(May 15) – Gov. John Hickenlooper traveled to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley today to sign the centerpiece of the House Democrats’ jobs and economic development package.

The Advanced Industries Acceleration Act had bipartisan cosponsors in Reps. Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), and Speaker Mark Ferrandino made it the first bill to be introduced this session. It establishes a grant program to promote commercialization of new technologies and growth among Colorado’s small high-tech startups.

HB13-1001 targets advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, and information technology. Colorado-based advanced-industry concerns would be eligible for proof-of-concept grants, capped at $150,000; early stage capital and retention grants, capped at $250,000, and infrastructure grants, capped at $500,000.

These advanced industries already account for 30 percent of Colorado’s workforce.

“This new law will help expand industries that will be the foundation of a robust, sustainable Colorado economy that’s based on modern, high-tech products,” Rep. Young said after the signing. “It will increase the number of high-paying, high-skilled jobs in Colorado.”

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